Mountain Village was the only village in Severe Town not devoted to any God. Forget faith, they lived without much regard of higher power and prosperity. It was their way of life.

Seeing this, many Gods wanted their devotion. The heavenly court then decided they would put Mountain Village on trial, with their consent. It was then decided by the heavenly court and elders of Mountain Village that five children with extraordinary circumstances would be born but the children no matter how devastating their effect would not be treated differently by either party.

The children were to be raised like any other child of Mountain Village, to see if knowing of the heavenly court from an early age would incline them toward faithful or the village itself were without faith.

What was nagging for the elders was what were the Gods to begin with and for the heavenly court was how can they be faithless and not proclaim themselves as atheist, could such ignorance exist?

Faithful or Faithless, never none.

So the children were born, and it was all boys. Mountain Village kept a close look on them, to see if truly they were beyond their wildest dreams but gradually; the haunting venture lost its glint when nothing out of the ordinary happened in their early years.

One night after sixteen years of nothing, just the day before harvest festival; the boy born in the farming family was woken from his sleep by ruckus, shouts coming from everywhere. The sight before him could not be explained, when he went to sleep, he’d been surrounded by trees all around, fruits on the ground that had fallen; sweet scent of overripe fruit and he woke up to land, barren land that seemed to have never experienced mowing, watering, falling leaves, excessive feeding. Where there were meant to be trees, there were people; people that held accusatory eyes at him.

Since it couldn’t be explained what had happened, The Elders then decided it was best if the boy was cast out of Mountain Village; that would be the only way to prevent any more situations regarding the boy.

Now Mountain Village was anxious, Heavenly Court had said extraordinary circumstances but it had never said good extraordinary circumstances as they had seen. They knew they’d promised the boys would live as any child of Mountain Village, they were in a predicament…

They were living with bated breaths.

Two months later, the banker went to her office as she usually did but that morning, what awaited had never awaited her. When she opened her office, gold coins spilled out. Her office was filled to the brink with gold coins that the was no way for her to enter, that morning she saw more gold coins than she’d ever recorded in her life.

Mountain Village knew greed but they didn’t know excessive greed. The second boy worked with the banker, but he too swore he’d done nothing, he went home after work. The Elders then decided it was better if he no longer worked with the banker.

After the two incidents, still not villager called Heavenly Court for help or cursed it. Not one villager, not even the boys. This was puzzling to the Gods.

Another two months later, the third boy woke up sick. His mother who worked as a merchant tended to him till he felt better, them went on with her work.

This caused an outbreak in Mountain Village.

The doctor had never seen such sickness, couldn’t treat it but bind it. Most of the elderly and children who caught it died which brought about panic. The doctor then told The Elders, if the source were extinguished; the sickness would no longer have a reservoir.

Everyone in Mountain Village took a vote on killing the boy to uproot the sickness. It was Mountain Village’s decision but the decision wasn’t unanimous, the mother of the boy wouldn’t agree to such blatant sacrifice; not with her beloved son.

What if it was him who got sick first, there had been people in the past who had caused outbreaks and they kept their lives, why was her son different she asked. However no one spoke in support of her, not ever her husband; and the boy was killed.

People who were sick gradually got better but it was nothing to celebrate. After all a young boy lost his life and who’s to say they wouldn’t have gotten better without killing?

There was a mournful period.

It was no longer interesting or inviting, The Elders were about done seeing their stoic village become so shook. And two boys were left.

Two months later, the field that had been stripped of it’s plants, had the plants in a state they would’ve been if they were still there. It was as though they hadn’t disappeared.

It bewildered Mountain Village, the boy was cast out as a result of the trees vanishing into thin air. Another boy was forbidden to work and the other was executed, had all those decisions been for naught?

The Elders were long tired of the impudence nature of the trial. It was high time they ended the dramatics they said. Wasn’t their way of life blissful after all? Now they slept with one eye open and for what?

Mountain Village gathered and came to a conclusion.

How did we live sixteen years ago they asked, and how are we leaving now?

Mountain Village gave all the four boys, called back one who’d been exiled back; the remaining two that still hadn’t had anything relating to them happen, gave them all the gold coins that had appeared out of nowhere. They told them to go everywhere and nowhere, find places that worshipped Gods and those that did not; if they found they would rather live in Mountain Village, then they were welcomed anytime.

Heavenly Court could do nothing when Mountain Village no longer had eyes and ears for it, so the Gods withdrew from Mountain Village.

But amidst all this, the mother with a dead son asked,

” Why did our boys bare the brunt of all your arrogance? The difference in thinking was never their cause, then why did their lives become playing grounds for two sides that weren’t never meant to push each other; faithful or faithless?”

Who could answer, after all the boys were never claimed by either side so;

Who could answer..?